Until a few months ago, I’d never heard of essences.
Until a few weeks ago, I rolled my eyes at the concept of their effectiveness.
Now, I’m on the essence train.
So, what is an essence? Well, it originates from Korea, the magical land of 7-step hydrating routines (aka, probably perfect for my dry, sensitive skin without even knowing much more). An essence is not a toner. A toner is used directly after cleansing your skin, meant to complete the cleanse, get rid of any remaining impurities, & prepare your skin for additional steps. They’re usually water-based, & they’re usually meant to hydrate & sooth the skin (prime example: my holy grail toner, Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs, & Rosewater).
So, okay. An essence isn’t a toner. Is it a serum?
Nope. A serum is much more highly concentrated than an essence. They usually come in smaller sizes, & are meant to be massaged gently into your skin. There are a whole variety of serums: hydrating, clarifying, brightening, soothing, so on & so on (some of my favorites are the Glossier Super Pack–shop here with me!–which, as a trio, hydrate, brighten, & clarify; the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, which is meant to brighten & plump the skin, & The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5%, meant to clarify & make skin more transluscent).
So, the conclusion you’ve probably come to at this point is that an essence is something between a toner & a serum. You’d be correct! Kind of. But it’s also its own thing. Just know that I’m really here for it.
Essence is best-suited for dry/sensitive skin types, because it provides the skin with an extra layer of hydration. Essence should be applied with a technique unique (hah) from toners or serums: you’re supposed to pat or press it into your face with your hands, starting at your chin, moving upwards (always apply products in upwards motions, so you don’t drag down your skin). Here’s what SokoGlam, (an online marketplace specializing in Korean beauty products) has to say about applying essence: “Korean women are all about tapping when applying anything on their face. Why? Rubbing your face like you’re windex-ing a window is not the recommended technique. They recommend tapping because it enhances absorption. FYI – it sounds like this, “TOK TOK TOK.” Try it!” (x)
So, when Saturday Skin sent me a PR package (!!!) filled with a bunch of cool things, like their amazing eye cream, lightweight moisturizer, & a small sample of….”Freeze Frame Beauty Essence“….I paused. Finally, essence was in my possession. I had no choice but to give it a go.
I researched application tips, & had a go at it. I applied the essence after toner, & before any serums or oils. I used the “tok tok tok” tip provided by SokoGlam. Then, I waited.
Within a few days, I could see my skin looking more moisturized, brighter, plumper, & firmer. My sample was dwindling, so I hurredly placed an order for the same essence by Saturday Skin, while looking for some cheaper (but just as good) alternatives.
I came across an article on Into The Gloss, entitled: Things We Finish: Dr. Jart Ceramidin Liquid. I’d heard of Dr. Jart, & already loved their color correcting Tiger Grass cream, as well as their sunscreen. In short, I was already a fan of Dr. Jart, so it didn’t take much to sell me on this one.
Writer Casey Zhang describes the product as “lightweight…I also like the smell a lot–it has a light herbal fragrance, almost medicinal but in a good way…the main point is that my face feels hydrated, brightened, and sans any flaky cracked patches.”
Well, that sounded good enough for me. Also: $39 for 5 fluid oz.??? I had to double check a few times. Most other essences I had looked at were at least $50. At least.
My ceramidin baby arrived today, & after patting it into the back of my hand after I excitedly opened the package, I saw a difference in about 5 minutes. My skin looked firmer, brighter, more transluscent–very similar to the Saturday Skin one, except a good deal cheaper.
Sorry, Saturday Skin! I love you, I LOVE your eye cream, & I love the bottle of essence I got from you this time around. But when I run out, I think Dr. Jart stole my heart with this one. Welcome home, Ceramidin. Welcome, eternally hydrated skin.
Interested in trying out the Saturday Skin Freeze Frame Essence? Here’s $10 off a $50 purchase at Peach & Lily. So your wallet doesn’t cry too loudly.